New York-based VICE Media and integrated media and communications firm MOBY Group have partnered to bring VICE's digital and mobile programming to the MENA region for the first time.
VICE made the announcement as part of a series of international content and distribution deals that will see the youth media company enter or expand their presence in 51 countries across markets in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and more.
The partnership with Moby Group will explore opportunities across the GCC, Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Afghanistan and Algeria, and will also involve the opening of local production studios across the region, the hiring of local journalists and filmmakers, and the airing of tailored local news and lifestyle programming around-the-clock.
An independent management team will provide creative stewardship to ensure VICE remains on brand, whilst adapting to the region's nuances and sensitivities to develop relevant content for the region's audiences.
MOBY Group, headed by Saad Mohseni as Chairman and Group CEO, currently operates businesses spanning television, digital, content production, radio, sports and strategic communications, including Afghan news station ToloNews and Farsi entertainment channel FARSI1.
VICE CEO and Co-Founder, Shane Smith said: "Saad Mohseni is a true media hero and one of the most unique visionaries in the global media landscape. He's not only a respected colleague, but a dear friend. Over the years VICE has worked with Moby in Afghanistan, Iran and beyond. His penetration into the complex and sometimes opaque political strata of the Middle East is second to none. This partnership will strengthen VICE's news offerings around the world and allows unique insight into a hyper dynamic region."
VICE, which has delivered award-winning reporting from the region for years, will begin establishing local video-production and publication operations that will work around the clock to create local news and culture and lifestyle programming, for broadcast online for multiple screens.
Mohseni added: "There's no question that the Middle East is one of the promising emerging digital markets in the world right now. There's a massive young audience in the Middle East and North Africa that's intensely engaged in the debates and stories happening around them—but no one is focused on offering them the immersive, locally produced content that they want.
“VICE, under visionary leadership of Shane, has successfully captured the mind and heart of the youth across the globe. We have been collaborating with VICE for many years, and now through MOBY's formal partnership with VICE we look forward to filling a vital void and reaching the digitally savvy young generation with content that matters to them.”